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factory

[fak-tuh-ree, -tree]
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noun, plural fac·to·ries.
  1. a building or group of buildings with facilities for the manufacture of goods.
  2. any place producing a uniform product, without concern for individuality: They call it a law school, but it's just a degree factory.
  3. (formerly) an establishment for factors and merchants carrying on business in a foreign country.

Origin of factory

From the Medieval Latin word factōria, dating back to 1550–60. See factor, -y3
Related formsfac·to·ry·like, adjectivesub·fac·to·ry, noun, plural sub·fac·to·ries.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for factory

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Then you could have stayed in the factory, and got your wages regularly every week.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Now, how much better off should I have been if I had kept my place in the factory?

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • It is the superintendent of the factory in our village—a man rich, or, at any rate, well-to-do.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Meanwhile, fortune had improved with Mr. Davis, the superintendent of the factory.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • But he had been cut out, and by Robert Rushton—one of his father's factory hands.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger


British Dictionary definitions for factory

factory

noun plural -ries
    1. a building or group of buildings containing a plant assembly for the manufacture of goods
    2. (as modifier)a factory worker
  1. rare a trading station maintained by factors in a foreign country
  2. Canadian (formerly) a main trading station for the exchange and transshipment of furs
Derived Formsfactory-like, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Late Latin factorium; see factor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for factory

n.

1550s, "estate manager's office," from Middle French factorie, from Late Latin factorium "office for agents (factors)," also "oil press, mill," from Latin factor "doer, maker" (see factor (n.)). Sense of "building for making goods" is first attested 1610s. Factory farm attested from 1890.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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